This year I visited Ecuador for the first time. Besides Quito and Galapagos, I didn’t know much about the country. But, once I stepped into it, Ecuador delivered much more than I expected.

To say that Ecuador is beautiful is an understatement. It is a country that with its biodiversity and varied culture, will find a way to make you fall in love with it. These are some of the reasons that made me love Ecuador, and that probably will make you love it too.

1. The Galapagos Islands

I’ll start with the 800-pound gorilla; Galapagos! As exotic as it is, Galapagos is not as remote and unreachable as many people think. In fact, it is easy, you can fly with LAN Airlines to Quito or Guayaquil, and from there to Galapagos with the same airline.

Sometimes you can even find roundtrips to Galapagos for as low as $250. These islands, considered to be Darwin’s playground, offer a view to a world where there’s almost no human intervention and nature lives and evolves on its own.

It is a place considered to be unique in the world, and one you should experience at least once in your life. I loved getting up close to nature, both above ground and underwater, and seeing firsthand unique species not found anywhere else on the planet. And my favorite, diving with the friendly seals!

I wrote previously about how you can visit Galapagos on a budget, so make sure to check it out!

Sea Lions in Galapagos, Ecuador

2. Several Ecosystems Compacted in One Country

It’s incredible how in just a moderate sized country, you can have so many ecosystems. Altitude influences most ecosystems in Ecuador since Ecuador shares part of the Andes with its neighboring countries.

You have high peaked and snow-capped mountains in the Andes, then heavily forested Andean Valleys. Then on the outskirts of the Andes, as the terrain keeps sloping down you have the cloud forests, full of rich flowering plants like bromeliads and orchids.

Then we enter the Amazon basin with its huge trees and vines that give the perfect jungle environment – since, after all, it’s the Amazon Jungle!

If that’s not enough, there are even dry forests in Ecuador too. And last but not least, the volcanic islands of Galapagos and several other volcanoes in mainland Ecuador.

If you want to take a peek at all these environment, you’ll need a lot of time there. That’s one reason Ecuador deserves a lot of time. It is very diverse!

3. The Equator

While Ecuador is not the only country located along the equator, it is the only one named after it. Just outside of Quito –Ecuador’s capital city– you’ll find a monument marking where the Equator passes through.

The funny thing is, there are two monuments. One is the “government’s official monument,” which is already known not to be in the accurate position, and the other one is “home-made” with an accurate GPS position.

The government one is fun to take pictures with your body halfway on both poles, but on the home-made one, it is fun to experiment balancing an egg on top of a nail (it’s possible) and see how water rotates differently on both poles and not at all right on the equator line.

Jumping at the equator in Quito, Ecuador

4. The Small Town of Montañita

This is probably my favorite town in Ecuador. It is a small beach town three hours away from Guayaquil, where backpackers make base to chill in its hippy vibes and surf on its waves. I went to Montañita to relax for a few days.

I fell so much in love with it that I decided to stay longer until I had to fly to Galapagos.

The town is just a few blocks big in each direction, and the beach is always full of action, both from the waves and from locals and tourists relaxing, hanging, or partying. Next time I go to Ecuador, a stop in Montañita will be a must!

5. The Swing at the End of the World

Now, this is an extra thing that I haven’t been able to experience, but I’m dying to. One good reason to go back! In the city of Baños, there’s a treehouse swing set right at the edge of a hill, making it look like your swinging hundreds of feet above the ground.

The treehouse above the swing is actually an observation center for Mt. Tungurahua, the active volcano you can see from there. And if you’re lucky, you might even see it erupting while swinging about 100 feet above the canyon floor!

Much love for Ecuador?!

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30 Comments

  1. True. Two reasons probably I would love to visit the country. One Galapagos island since I was little I wanted to find out how Darwin decided to draw conclusions for his book ” the evolution of species” and of course to walk along the equator line. Great post.

  2. Congratulations, Amazing Photos

    I found this very beautiful place I want to visit soon

    the photos you see here give me a mad desire to pack up and travel

  3. so this one of the best place to be both northern and southern hemisphere. I love the idea of taking pics at the monuments. am sure its gonna be loads of fun

  4. Galapagos is the destination of my dream love to read the reason to travel Ecuador
    it is an excellent and insightful post with picture thanks

  5. Ecuador is a land of rich humanizing and chronological attractions, all set within a setting of likely wonders, with landscapes that range between fertile, steamy rainforests and glaciated volcanoes.

  6. That’s so true! That’s why I love Ecuador as well! And it’s a pretty cheap place to travel! 😀 One more thing, I would love to add Cuenca inside, that’s my favourite city!

  7. After looking at a few different places to travel, Ecuador is one of the top ten we have decided to travel to. It would be amazing to see this beautiful country with its beautiful rain forests and more. Would love to tell our friends we traveled to the equator too!

  8. We are looking my husband and i for such travel story, we plan to visite Phiket for scuba diving, amazing shot by the way 😉 so we have looking for advices about how to better make our trip
    Hope you have been over there to tell us more
    Thanks

  9. Equador is a great place to rest from noise. ou can find quiet places and enjoy sightseeing or swimming. Everything is filled with blossom – so great!

  10. Ecuador is in awesome place for sure. It’s on our bucket list this year Thanks for sharing. How are the temperatures in Ecuador?

  11. Great post. I am live in Brazil & I am searching a place in South America to visit.
    I think I know now where I am goign to!

    Thanks for share this with us!

  12. Another magnificent article! I have heard a lot about this South-American country blessed with beautiful nature that will mesmerize you during your visit.

  13. Great read– Ecuador is on my bucket list! The Galapagos Islands are known for its protected habitat, diverse ecosystems, and abundance of cool and exotic wildlife! I didn’t know that Ecuador had so many different geographic facets that make up this South American country. Definitely will use these recommendations if I ever make a trip down there!

  14. Much love all travel trip, have you an instagram to follow you on your trip adventure? Thanks for sharing this with us! And hope to read you soon

  15. Its hard to imagine what it would be like in a 7.8 quake. I’ve experienced a 7.0 quake, over 150 miles away and it was scary. Experiencing something ten times bigger right under your feet, not that is scary.

  16. The great thing about Ecuador though is that you can intensify or develop nearly any hobby you want. All you have to do is ask.

    You’ll Never Be Bored In Ecuador

  17. Such a lovely place! I’d love to see those animals in theri natural habitat, especially those seals! They are so cute!

  18. A life’s dream. Diving at Galapagos. I wonder if I will ever be able to fulfill that dream. Should play the lottery.

  19. Hi Norbert,
    One thing I am sure of, you love sea like me and then meeting people.

    We have so much of common with each other.
    Isn’t it?

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